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Writing Post 1

Basic Elements:

Respect other authors and creators.

Write in an engaging way.

Include an introduction + a conclusion.

Provide a thesis statement. (See "Post 1: Full Details")

Use topic sentences.

Use specific evidence.

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Respect other authors/creators

Helpful Resources:

The point of a project like this is to connect readers with great information about interesting topics. The best way to do that is to let your own writing shine - and credit the people who made your work possible. To make this happen:

  1. All words must be your own (really, every single one). In other words, all of your material must be thoroughly paraphrased. Please note:
    • Paraphrasing takes practice. Even if you're comfortable paraphrasing, it's good to review helpful resources like the CBB Plagiarism Quiz and the Purdue OWL resources listed above.
    • Paraphrasing takes time. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to write and revise the blog posts.
  2. Use quotations marks whenever you use another author's words (a "unique term or phraseology," as OWL Purdue puts it).
  3. Cite everything. All ideas, words, and media that are not your own must be acknowledged as the product of another author/creator. (That will be pretty much everything for these projects.) See Citing on the Blog for the Blogging Project style guide.
  4. Don’t count on plagiarism-checking programs. I’ve seen everything from SafeAssign to the free online checkers straight up miss material copied directly from Wikipedia. You are your own best plagiarism checker.

Again - accomplishing all of this takes time and practice. That's why we're doing a first draft and a final copy of each post.

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Write in an engaging way.

Think about your audience. You’re writing for your peers and, potentially, a wider public. That means you want your writing to be clear and fun to read. Avoid academic lingo; feel free to be playful.

Organize your post well. Engaging writing is well-structured and easy to follow. I highly recommend creating an outline that includes your thesis statement, topic sentences, and specific evidence before writing.

Grammar and spelling count. While typos and wonky sentences can distract from your points, well-written sentences and attention to details help your audience better understand your most important points.

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Introduction, Conclusion & Thesis statement

An introduction should hook your reader, provide a clear thesis statement, and outline what you hope to accomplish in the post.

A conclusion should summarize your main points and/or suggest additional questions or ideas for research. What does the topic leave you wondering about?

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Use topic sentences

A topic sentence is sort of a mini-intro to each paragraph. It is a statement that relates back to your thesis and helps expand your overarching point.

For example, let’s say my subject was Hatshepsut and my thesis statement about her importance to history was:

“Hatshepsut is important to our understanding of the history of Egypt because she exemplified the qualities of a good Egyptian ruler.”

My topic statements would each make a more specific point that supported that claim:

  1. “Hatshepsut possessed experience as an administrator and religious leader that translated into knowledge and wisdom as a ruler."
  2. “Hatshepsut ensured the stability of her kingdom through attention to and expansion of religious structures and rituals.”
  3. “Hatshepsut upheld maat, the divine order of the universe, by expanding the wealth and prosperity of Egypt through trade.”
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Use specific evidence

I would then support each topic sentence with very specific historical examples to complete my point: 

  1. Topic sentence: “Hatshepsut possessed experience as an administrator and religious leader that translated into knowledge and wisdom as a ruler.”
    • Evidence 1: She served as the God’s Wife of Amun, an influential priestess position, during her father’s and brother’s reigns.
    • Evidence 2: She may have co-ruled with her mother during the short period of her young brother’s reign.

  2. Topic sentence: “Hatshepsut ensured the stability of her kingdom through attention to and expansion of religious structures and rituals.”
    • Evidence 1: The Egyptians believed their deities were responsible for their health, wealth, and safety. It was therefore important to attend to the gods and goddesses through daily rituals in long-standing temples throughout Egypt.
    • Evidence 2: Hatshepsut worked to ensure the pleasure of the gods by building new monuments and temples to honor Egypt’s deities.
    • Evidence 3: She also donated incense, gold, and building materials to new and existing temples to aid the priests in their duties.